April 1, 2003
Baylor will face tough competition at the annual Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays. Top athletes from all over the country will compete in high school, college and university divisions. Action gets under way on Wednesday with the decathlon, heptathlon and 10,000-meter events. Other field and running events will take place Thursday-Saturday at Mike A. Myers Stadium on the University of Texas campus.
Bears Record Qualifying Marks
Five Bears recorded regional qualifying marks in the opening week of the outdoor season. Sophomore Lakadron Ivery clocked an 11.54 in the 100-meter dash to be the only female runner to qualify on week 1. She was joined by All-American April Holliness, who met the regional qualifying standard in the long jump with a leap of 6.25 meters (20-6). Heptathlete Jordan Willmann exceed the regional standard in the high jump, clearing a height of 1.73 meters (5-8). On the men's side, Seth Billy and Brian McDonald, who both qualified for indoor nationals as part of the 1,600 relay team, clocked regional qualifying times in the 400-meter hurdles. Billy won the race at the Dr Pepper Invitational with a time of 51.79 followed by McDonald in second with a 52.56. Wil Fitts added his name to the list of qualifiers, winning the 800 at the Tom Tellez Invitational with a time of 1:51.12. Other additions on week two included Danielle Myricks in the 400 hurdles (1:00.51), Angela Marvin in the 3,000 steeplechase (10:53.17) and the men's 1,600 relay (3:10.43).
Thornhill Runs Stellar 10K at Stanford
Senior Debbie Thornhill traveled to Stanford's Cobb Track and Angell Field last weekend to compete in the 10,000-meter race at the Stanford Invitational. She had an incredible race clocking an automatic NCAA qualifying mark of 33:34.85. It was the second-fastest 10K time ever recorded by a Baylor female as well as being the fastest women's time clocked at a meet other than the national championships. Thornhill, who is the defending Big 12 champion in the event, ran the fastest time in the Big 12 so far this season to qualify for her first trip to the NCAA Outdoor Championships, which will be held in Sacramento, Calif. June 11-14.
Hart Leads Baylor for 40th Season
Clyde Hart begins his 40th season as the head coach of Baylor's track and field program this season. In his tenure at BU, Hart has firmly established the Bear program as one of the best in the nation. Hart has coached athletes to 24 national championships (11 individual/13 relay) and 446 All-America awards (148 individual/298 relay). Named the men's assistant coach for Team USA at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia, Hart has coached athletes to ten world record performances. In 1996, he was named the Coach of the Year by the United States Olympic Committee. That year he coached Michael Johnson to gold medals in the 200-meters and 400-meters at the Games of the 26th Olympiad in Atlanta, Ga. Hart also was named the NCAA Indoor Coach of the Year in 1996 after garnering such honors in 1989. A four-time Southwest Conference Indoor Coach of the Year, Hart has established Baylor as a quarter-mile powerhouse after producing 13 4x400 relay national champions and four individual 400-meter national champions.
Wariner and Williamson Return to Action
All-American quartermilers Jeremy Wariner and Darold Williamson returned to competition on Saturday at the Tom Tellez Invitational. Wariner experienced leg cramps in the open 400 at the NCAA Indoor Championships a few weeks ago. Williamson had been out since straining a hamstring while running the 400 at the Tyson Invitational on Feb. 14. Both athletes were part of the winning 1,600 relay team last weekend.
School Indoor Records Fall
The Baylor recordbooks were rewritten during the 2003 indoor campaign. Junior Kyle King ran an impressive 5,000-meter race in the Olympic Development heat at the Tyson Invitational. He finished the race in a school-record and NCAA automatic qualifying time of 13:57.22. Senior Rebecca McPherson cleared a pole vault height of 10-8 1/4, which is a new indoor best for a Baylor women's pole vaulter. Sophomore Lakadron Ivery had an impressive meet at the Big 12 Indoor Championships. She set new school records in both the 60-meter dash (7.37) and the 200-meters (23.69) en route to scoring in both events. Junior Jordan Willmann also placed her name in the record book at the conference meet, accumulating a school-record pentathlon total of 3,891 points.
Wariner Garners All-America Accolades
Freshman Jeremy Wariner clocked a season-best time of 46.12 to finish second in his heat and fourth in the prelims of the 400-meter dash at the NCAA Indoor Championships at the University of Arkansas' Randall Tyson Track Center. He proceeded to the finals where he finished seventh with a time of 46.21 to earn his first career All-America honor.
Petrahn Concludes Career at Big 12 Indoor Championships
Barbara Petrahn concluded her stellar Baylor career at the Big 12 Indoor Championships. She is tied for the women's record, earning nine All-America honors. During her time with the Green and Gold, Petrahn anchored six relays to the NCAA finals as well as running third on one relay and twice earning individual All-America honors in the 400. Petrahn also was a five-time Big 12 champion, which also ties her for the Baylor women's record. The Gyor, Hungary-native clocked a provisional time of 54.24 in the 400, but it was not fast enough to qualify for another shot at All-America honors.
NCAA Indoor Championships Recap
Four individuals and the men's 1,600 relay made the trip to Fayetteville, Ark. for the 2003 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships. For the women, sophomore Lakadron Ivery and senior Debbie Thornhill each qualified for the first time. Ivery competed in both the 60 and 200-meter dashes, taking 20th place in the 60 (7.47) and 18th in the 200 (23.96). Thornhill exceeded the provisional mark in the 5,000-meter run. With a time of 16:26.36, she finished 14th.
On the men's side, junior Kyle King and freshman Jeremy Wariner qualified as individuals. King clocked a 14:28.60 to finish 15th in the 5,000-meter run. Wariner earned his first All-America honor, taking seventh in the 400-meter dash. Sophomore Darold Williamson had also met the automatic standard in the 400 but was unable to compete due to injury. The men's 1,600 relay made its 19th-consecutive trip to the indoor national championships, but was unable to run because of injuries to Williamson and Wariner. Overall, the men tied for 54th place with a total of two points.
Outdoor Track and Field Changes to Regional Format
Instead of qualifying for the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships by the traditional method of automatic and provisional qualifying standards, the 2003 season will be the beginning of regional qualifying. Four two-day regionals will be held across the country with the top five individuals and the top three relays advancing to nationals. At large bids, expected to be around six for individual events and five for relays, will then be selected based on the descending order lists compiled throughout the season and the conference championships. The participants in the multi events, heptathlon and decathlon, and the 10,000-meter run will continue to be determined by the traditional format of automatic and provisional qualifying marks. The move to regional qualifying will increase the number of NCAA competitors to nearly 1,100 participants.